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Fossil launches SnapDragon Wear 3100 smartwatch

Fossil has announced the Fossil Sport Smartwatch, based on the recently launched Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform and the newly redesigned Wear OS by Google. 

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The watch boasts several new technology features, including extended battery life, a new battery saving mode, enhanced ambient mode, integrated heart rate, NFC, and GPS capabilities. It features sleek, ultra-lightweight design, colourful silicone straps, and updated technology.

The watch will be part of a new campaign led by model, marathoner, and entrepreneur Candice Huffine, chosen because she has inspired fans by spreading a message of positivity, inclusivity, and empowerment.

Says Steve Evans, executive vice president of the Fossil Group: “For several years, the health and wellness industry has been converging with smartwatch technology — and Fossil knew there was a tremendous opportunity to provide a connected option for the design-conscious consumer looking to bring style to their wrist. We know our consumers want versatility both in their activity and their accessories, which is why we wanted to bring a smartwatch to market that is a fit for every style.

“We’re incredibly excited to be able to offer a colourful sport smartwatch with endless customisation and equipped with latest Google and Qualcomm technology for a best-in-class consumer experience.”

Fossil Sport launches with six colourways, two case sizes (41 and 43 mm respectively), and numerous strap options, providing consumers with additional technology in Fossil designs and styles. The new nylon and aluminum case make this the lightest smartwatch to date and sits alongside 28 new silicone straps to give the wearer colourful combinations. Additionally, the Fossil Sport smartwatch will house a bigger battery (350 mAh), and the recently announced Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform, which brings in new capabilities and extends battery life.

“The smartwatch market continues to grow at a rapid pace with unprecedented innovation in the industry,” said Pankaj Kedia, senior director of product marketing at Qualcomm Technologies.

“Over the last three years, Fossil and Qualcomm have collaborated closely to launch a series of products and have led the Wear OS by Google smartwatch segment. The Fossil Sport smartwatch represents our best efforts yet made possible through the combination of Qualcomm’s world class Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform and Fossil’s ingenious pulse of the evolving consumer needs. This smartwatch truly represents the best of technology, fashion, and fitness.”

Fossil provided the following information:

Snapdragon Wear 3100 Platform

Utilizing the latest Snapdragon Wear 3100 Platform, Fossil Sport helps customers achieve more than a day’s worth of battery life in the full smartwatch experience, and offers a new battery saving mode that adds an additional two days of telling time. So, whether you forget your charger or just choose to unplug on the weekends, battery saver is designed to stretch your watch battery to last until you can charge again. As software experience continues to evolve, battery life will be further optimised. The Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform enhances the ambient mode allowing for an improved user experience–select dials will leverage the new platform to showcase colour and a sweeping second hand for more dynamic style.

Wear OS by Google Redesign

The evolved Wear OS by Google design simplifies and improves the overall experience. With a quick swipe, users can now access their information faster, receive proactive help from the Google Assistant and get smarter health coaching from Google Fit. Fossil has also created three hero watch faces that integrate Google Fit to show progress towards two new activity goals, Move Minutes and Heart Points, which Google Fit designed based on health recommendations from the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association.

Additionally, with integrated sensor processing, heart rate, optimised connectivity, GPS, and NFC capabilities on the platform, the Fossil Sport brings a rich set of features to the market. Rapid charging allows the smartwatch to be almost completely charged within an hour, helping power users from day to night. All watches will come with new applications auto-installed, including leading streaming music service, Spotify and peace of mind and safety app, Noonlight.

“As an early partner of Wear OS by Google, Fossil has brought to life a diverse range of beautiful smartwatches that help people stay on top of their daily lives,” said Stacey Burr, Vice President of Product Management for Wear OS by Google and Google Fit. “We’re thrilled to partner with Fossil to help people lead healthier lives with their latest Fossil Sport Smartwatch and unique watch faces designed with Google Fit.”

With this new generation of watch, Fossil showcases a unique, colourful take on technology and redefining what it means to bring activity and balance to your lifestyle. The added functions will give users a 360-holistic way to track all parts of their lives, while keeping true to the authentic creative spirit of innovative watch design that Fossil was founded on more than 30 years ago.

Features include:

·         Nylon case, aluminium top-ring and pushers

·         41 mm, 43 mm case size

·         Stunning touchscreen digital display

·         24+ hours battery life (based on usage) + 2 additional days in battery saver watch mode

·         Interchangeable straps and bracelets (18mm / 22mm)

·         Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 Platform

·         Sensors: Heart Rate, NFC, GPS, Altimeter, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Ambient Light, Microphone

·         Powered with Wear OS by Google and compatible with iOS 9.3+ and Android 4.4+ (excluding Go edition)

·         Connect via Bluetooth technology

·         Wireless syncing + magnetic charging

Cars

Cape Town not so calm – if you’re a driver

Cape Town drivers lose on average 162 hours a year to traffic jams, so will need some tech and a few tips to stay calm

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Cape Town drivers lose, on average, 162 hours a year stuck in traffic jams, and the city is ranked 95th out of around 200 cities, across 38 countries surveyed globally, in terms of congestion issues.

That’s according to the latest INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard, which is an annual analysis of mobility and congestion trends. The study provides a data-rich evaluation of information collected during peak (slowest) travel times, and inter peak (fastest point between morning and afternoon commutes) travel times. Together they provide a holistic account of congestion throughout the day, delivering in-depth insights for vehicle drivers and policy-makers to make better decisions regarding urban travel and traffic health.

Of the further five South African cities surveyed:

  • Pretoria drivers lose, on average, 143 hours a year stuck in traffic jams, ranking as the 64thmost congested city
  • Johannesburg drivers lose an average of 119 hours annually, ranking 61st
  • Durban drivers lose 72 hours, ranking 141st
  • Port Elizabeth drivers lose 71 hours, ranking 75th
  • And Bloemfontein drivers lose 62 hours, ranking 165th

If these hours sound horrific, spare a thought for the poor drivers in Colombia’s capital city of Bogotá who lose, on average, a whopping 272 hours a year stuck in traffic jams!

On average, drivers’ commutes increase by roughly 30% during peak versus inter-peak hours. And the reality is that congestion issues aren’t going away anytime soon. Not here in SA, or anywhere else in the world. So what can we, as drivers, do to make the situation easier to cope with on our daily commute?

Change of mindset

Stressing about the unavoidable, the inevitable, and all the things that are out of our control – like congestion caused by accidents, faulty street lights, or bad weather – is a waste of energy. We should try finding ways of using that time in our cars more productively, to create a less tense, more positive experience. Learning to change our perspective about this challenging time, and associating it with something enjoyable, can drastically alter our reaction to and engagement with it. Rather than expending all our energy on futile anger and frustration, we can channel our focus on things that relax or energise us instead.

Just one more chapter

Being stuck in traffic usually aggravates us because it feels like a huge waste of valuable time. But like a wise man once said, time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. Listening to a podcast or audiobook can not only be entertaining, but also educational, which is a brilliant use of your time. Ifyou think of your car as a ‘learning lab’, a mobile university of sorts, and your time spent inside as away to exercise your brain and grow intellectually, you may even find yourself wishing for bad traffic so you have an excuse to carry on listening to your podcast or audiobook.

Tame your inner Hulk

Pulling up a playlist of your favourite, feel-good songs can do wonders to combat stress levels. Downbeat music has been proven to have a mellowing effect on drivers. Making a quick switch to downbeat music shows measurable physiological improvements, with drivers calming down much sooner, and making fewer driving mistakes. So the next time you feel your inner Hulk emerging, crank up the volume on your favourite tunes.

The power of ‘caromatherapy’

There are numerous studies on aromas and their impact on human emotion, behaviour, and performance. Researchers have found that peppermint can enhance mental and athletic performance and cognitive functioning, while cinnamon may improve tasks related to attentional processes and visual-motor response speed. A study from Kyoto University in Japan revealed that participants reported significantly lower hostility and depression scores, and felt more relaxed after awalk through a pine forest. It makes sense then, to incorporate some ‘caromatherapy’ into our lives. There are plenty of off-the-shelf car diffusers available, or you could add a few drops of essential oil to DIY felt air fresheners. Citrus scents like orange or lemon can provide a boost of energy, while rosemary can relieve stress and anxiety. Take care not to hang anything that might obstruct your field of vision though, and always make sure to test out essential oils at home first, in case a scent makes you dizzy or overly relaxed, which could affect driving focus.

Contemplate your navel

The mind is a powerful thing, and simply willing yourself to relax might be the most effective method of all. While we don’t recommend meditating while driving due to safety reasons, breathing exercises can help you stay focused and feeling calm. One useful practice is the one-to-one technique – breathing in and out for the same count with the same intensity. Deep, measured breaths facilitate full oxygen exchange, helping to slow down the rate of your heartbeat and stabilise blood pressure, as opposed to shallow breathing, which doesn’t send enough air to the lowest part of your lungs, causing you to feel anxious and short of breath. Just always keep your eyes on the road, and take care to ensure you’re not so busy counting breaths that your concentration is compromised.

Not all those who wander are lost

Some of our best ideas come in those moments where we’re alone with our own thoughts, able to really reflect on the ideas we have without having something immediate that needs our attention. Allow your mind to wander, and do a little brainstorming. Alternatively, use the time to simply day dream. Remember, downtime is not dead time. It is both necessary, and important for your mental health. Use this time as an opportunity to take care of yourself.

In-built vehicle tech

“As we spend more and more time commuting, cars are being designed to accommodate longer periods behind the wheel,” says Kuda Takura, smart mobility specialist at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “Ford uses human-centric design to deliver vehicles that are inviting, accommodating, and intuitive. For example, our SYNCT infotainment system offers nifty, hands-free functions, like allowing drivers to listen to their texts, change music or climate settings, and make phone calls easily with voice control. Our range of driver-assist technologies, like Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and Semi-Auto Active Park Assist, are also designed to take some of the stress off city driving. If our lifestyle means that we might be spending more time in our cars than we do on holiday, then we should make sure we make the most of that time.”

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Vodacom exits Africa biz services

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Vodacom Group has sold Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire to Andile Ngcaba’s Synergy Communications. The two entities are in the process of concluding the acquisitions, which are subject to the approval of the regulatory authorities within these markets.

Vodacom says the transaction supports the Group’s enterprise strategy in Africa, which has been refocused to grow and strengthen its core business. It will no longer directly service global enterprise customers in these three markets but will rather continue to operate as a pan African telecommunications networks provider through local relationships, like the one with Synergy Communications. 

This acquisition represents a significant milestone in Synergy Communication’s quest to be a leading provider of cloud and digitally based services in key markets across sub-Saharan Africa and provides key additional assets in its build out of a regional footprint. Synergy Communications currently has operations in Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique.

Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Synergy Communications said: “This is an exciting landmark transaction for Synergy Communications, providing us with additional momentum in the delivery of our strategy as a pan-African enterprise digital Services Provider. Synergy Communications will partner with major global cloud providers and deliver platform-based services to both multi-nationals and local enterprises.”

Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group, said: “Vodacom has a clear vision for strengthening our position as a leading pan-African business and will work with local service providers like Synergy Communications to grow in these markets. Crucially, Vodacom is not exiting any of the territories related to this transaction and remains focused on continuing to deliver exceptional service to our global and multinational clients in these markets through long-term commercial agreements. 

“To support the sustainable growth of pan African digital economies and building connected societies, Vodacom will, via local service providers, continue to service clients in each market. We seek to leverage the collective strengths of Vodacom and Synergy Communications to meet the changing requirements of clients across each of these markets.”

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